Irrespective of who becomes next Sri Lankan President, India should keep helping Lanka: Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa

Colombo: Irrespective of who becomes Sri Lanka’s next president, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all political parties and the people of India should keep helping the island nation come out of its worst economic crisis, Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said on Tuesday.

Premadasa’s appeal came hours after the government told an all-party meeting in New Delhi that India is naturally worried over the Sri Lankan crisis and ahead of the presidential election in Sri Lanka on Wednesday to pick a successor to ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“The ball is in the court of Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and they are holding discussions. They need an agreement, then we (India) will see what supportive role we can play,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said after the meeting attended by the representatives of 28 political parties, including those from the Congress, the Left parties and the DMK.

For the first time in 44 years, Sri Lanka’s Parliament will directly elect a President on Wednesday. Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe will face Dullas Alahapperuma and Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the election.

Premadasa, 55, withdrew from the race for presidency on Tuesday. He is tipped to become Sri Lanka’s next prime minister if Dullas Alahapperuma is elected as the next Sri Lankan president.

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